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The Halo Story


May 25, 2005

Nothing like a bit of humility to start the day with.

Mike Happel ( writes:

Browsing the story pages now and then, and of course,
playing Halo, Halo 2 and reading the novels, something
always confused me about the nature of Human's role in
Forerunner plots or eras and the uses of abandoned
Forerunner tech.

First off - the Forerunner seem to leave myriad amounts of technology and installations strewn about this galaxy seemingly at random. With the exception of some intentionally placed and guarded facilities (the Halos, of course, and the Gas-Giant Flood Labs) most of the assumed (by this I mean the tech on which the Covenant base their society and religion, though we have never actually seen it, and other artifacts) Forerunner tech is strewn about in the same fashion that Humans will discard an unwanted candy wrapper or spent battery, or a broken toy. We drop it in the wastebasket, and try to get it away, and of those who care even less, we simply drop it and forget about it. And the Forerunner seemed to have done the same thing, but on a galactic scale. The Covenant have, with some possible exceptions, based
their entire religion and purpose on the search for
what is essentially Forerunner garbage.

Before any of you might start guffawing, consider how
archaeologists go about learning about previous human
cultures: We root through their garbage. I'll link
this a bit later.

Secondly- How "high-up" were other races considered by
the Forerunner? To the Humans and the Covenant in the
Halo universe, the Forerunner are revered as Gods and
demi-Gods. Because they reached an amazingly complex
level of technology and (we assume) society. They are
considered to be, and in some senses were, more civilized. And with our race's natural arrogance, we
assume that Humans of course played an important role
in Forerunner history, or were of some importance to
the Forerunner. But what if we were, simply put, to
the Forerunner what a dog, or even what ants are, to
Humans? A dog is an amazingly complex creature, but
when I see one, I just think "oh, a dog" I hardly ever
even consider the wonder about that animal. The
Covenant, if they had some role in those ancient
times, were probably viewed by the Forerunner in the
same way.

Linking the two ideas, consider the Ark on Earth, or
at least in the Sol system. It seems more likely to me
that from a Forerunner perspective, the Ark was placed
on Earth or near it not because of Humans, but because
it was a strategic location. "Build the house on the
property, and damn the ants. Yep, they're annoying
little buggers, but what can they do about it?" Except
the ants in this scenario are the Humans, or
pre-Humans, on Earth.

It seems far too arrogant to me to assume that Humans
played a highly important part in the Forerunner's
intentions. Or at least, if we did it was pure dumb
chance, and not the long-term planning of those
beings. Likewise, a race that is capable of killing,
not just rendering harmless or less of a threat, but
literally DESTROYING all intelligent life, does not
seem to me to be one that would make an exception for
a race like Humanity or any of the Covenant races (if
these species did in fact ever have contact with the
Forerunner). As we have seen, especially from Greek
and Roman myths, that all gods are powerful, but not
all gods have noble intents. Why should we assume that
the Forerunner went out of their way to help humanity,
when their fight with the Flood seemed to be their
single unified goal? This doesn't make them noble, it means they followed the ultimate purpose of life: to Survive.

So there!

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